Coping with Anxiety:
An Exposure-Based Approach to Facing Your Fears
This group is designed to help children acquire the skills and tools necessary to cope with childhood anxiety. With the guidance of Dr. Zia. children learn to recognize that anxiety is uncomfortable (but not dangerous), identify that feared outcomes are much less likely to happen than once predicted, and realize they are far more able to cope with negative outcomes than initially estimated.
This group is run by Dr. Zia Lakdawalla.
✔️ Your Child’s Age is 9 to 12
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Our classes run multiple times throughout the year. Join us today!
Children with anxiety or symptoms of anxiety often experience intense discomfort in a variety of settings. To alleviate their anxiety they often begin avoiding situations, which unfortunately makes their anxiety worse. While individual therapy teaches children strategies for how to tolerate anxiety-provoking situations without avoiding them, there is growing evidence that practicing and refining these skills is more effective when done in group formats.
About child anxiety groups at FFEW:
In-person child group therapy sessions at FFEW teach children coping skills to help them manage their anxiety as they practice facing their fears in a group setting. The gold standard intervention for anxiety is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP involves systematically and gradually confronting feared objects (e.g., dogs), anxiety-provoking situations (e.g., public speaking), intrusive thoughts (e.g., “I might accidentally harm someone”) and images (e.g., genitals), and /or uncomfortable bodily sensations (e.g., shallow breathing, racing heart) that patients attempt to avoid.
With the guidance of Dr. Zia and the help of group participants, children learn to recognize that anxiety is uncomfortable (but not dangerous), identify that feared outcomes are much less likely to happen than once predicted, and realize they are far more able to cope with negative outcomes than initially estimated. The approach is practical and hands-on, which results in the most meaningful changes. So, in this group, we practice, practice, practice! We will use real-life situations to coach your child to use skills in the here and now. We are not only going to talk about what to do; we are going to DO it!
Child Anxiety Groups are appropriate for those who:
Have specific fears and phobias
Are afraid of embarrassing themselves in social situations
Avoid doing activities that involve socializing
Have performance fears
Have difficulties separating from a parent
Generally tend to avoid taking risks or feared situations
Dr. Zia meets individually with each participant prior to the start of the group for 1-2 sessions to determine if he or she is the right fit and to identify specific areas of concern. In addition to group-focused activities, Dr. Zia also provides individualized interventions tailored to the specific needs of each child.
At the halfway point of the group, parents will have the opportunity to connect directly with Dr. Zia for questions or additional support to enhance the success of out-of-session exposures.
Please note that in order for your child to participate in this group, caregivers will be required to participate in the Caregiving for your Anxious Child group. Including parents in treatment for children with anxiety enhances the efficacy of treatment.
See more on Caregiving Your Anxious Child.